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ST MARY AND ALL SAINTS CHURCH CONWY, FORMERLY ABERCONWY ABBEY

Site Details


NPRN 43768

Map Reference SH77NE

Grid Reference SH7816377526

Unitary (Local) Authority Conwy

Old County Caernarfonshire

Community Conwy

Type of Site ABBEY, CHURCH

Broad Class RELIGIOUS RITUAL AND FUNERARY

Period Post Medieval, Medieval

Site Description This was the church of Aberconwy Abbey, a Cistercian foundation of the period 1186-1197. It became the parish church of St Mary & All Saints in 1283-4, following the English conquest and the establishment of the borough (NPRN 33013) outside the magnificent new castle (NPRN 121). The abbey was tranferred to Maenan in the Conwy valley 12km to the south, where fragments of its buildings have been excavated (see NPRN 16475).
The abbey church was about 43m long and something of its fabric is preserved in the east and west walls of the present church. The western part would have been a great ailsed nave. Llewelyn's Hall may have been a guest house associated with the abbey (see NPRN 303129).
The church was largely rebuilt in the late thirteenth century. It consisted of an ailsed nave, a chancel and north vestry, and a western tower built in the end bay of the abbey church. The fine south trancept was added soon after. There were various other additions and rebuildings and the church was systematically restored in 1872. It stands within a roughly rectangular grave yard concealed behind the houses in High Street, Castle Street, Rose Hill Street and Lancaster Square. Fittings include a fine rood screen of about 1500 separating the nave and chancel.

Source: RCAHMW Caernarvonshire Inventory I (1956), 39-46

John Wiles 17.03.08

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